It's not every day you find a half-tonne piece of playground equipment floating in the Oamaru Harbour.
On October 5, it is believed that a group of vandals threw a train designed for children to play on in the Friendly Bay Playground, into the harbour.
The Oamaru Steam and Rail Society spent up to 120 hours constructing the train, which had been installed just three weeks before being found in the water on October 7.
Waitaki District Council property manager Dougall McIntyre said the train sustained some damage.
Yesterday, Oamaru Steam and Rail Society volunteer driver Bruce Cawley started restoring the train, which he said had been popular with children and tourists alike.
"It's not just kids who have been enjoying it. When it first went down there were adults, especially tourists sitting in there and getting their photos taken," Mr Cawley said.
After being removed from the water, the train was given a wash.
"It all has to be sanded right back again, primed and re-painted. The council is supplying all of the paint and I'm supplying the man hours," Mr Cawley said.
"The Oamaru Steam and Rail Society spent 80 to 120 hours building it and then some toerags decided one Friday night it didn't need to be on the tracks and pushed it into the tide."
The restoration is expected to take at least two weeks.
"It's going to be about four to five days before I've sanded it all and primed it all," he said.
"I'll come down and spend a few hours on it after work every day."
Mr Cawley said it would have taken at least six to eight people to lift the playground piece into the water.
Once fully restored, the train will be a shade of "Nelson Red" with silver window borders and a black base. It will be secured in its rightful place on the tracks in the Friendly Bay Playground.
Oamaru police Senior Sergeant Jason McCoy said the vandalism had not been reported.
"If people don't report these things to us, we don't know where things are happening so we don't think they are crime areas," he said.